ACC: Shawnbrey McNeal

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Here are a few neat notes from the sports information directors throughout the league:

Last Saturday against Virginia Tech, sophomore guard Rodney Hudson was whistled for a false start penalty. It was the first time in his career -- covering 1,024 snaps -- that the true sophomore has been penalized for anything. Considering he has started 17 games since his true freshman season last year, it is a remarkable stat.

Hudson also saw another amazing streak come to an end. In the first game of his career in 2007 versus Clemson, he allowed one sack. Sixteen games later he was beat again for a sack versus the Hokies. It was the first one he has allowed since his first start.

Hudson has received the top overall grade in four of seven games this season among offensive linemen and has been number two twice. He has been ranked first in either run blocking or pass blocking eight times. 

BC is 3-0 against Clemson since joining the ACC in 2005, but those three wins have come by a combined seven points. The teams' first two meetings as conference foes in 2005 and 2006 both went to overtime. Clemson is the only team Boston College has ever faced from the Palmetto State and the Eagles hold a slight 8-7-2 advantage in the all-time series. To commemorate the series that dates back to 1940, the Boston College Gridiron Club initiated the O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy which will be awarded to the winner of the game. The MVP will be awarded a genuine leather helmet that is a replica of the one his team wore back in the 1940s.

Eighteen of Miami's 26 offensive touchdowns this season have come on drives of three minutes or shorter, with nine of those 26 touchdowns coming in under a minute. In fact, UM's longest touchdown drive in terms of used game clock was a 4:28-drive resulting in a Shawnbrey McNeal 1-yard rushing touchdown with 4:19 to play in the fourth quarter against Duke.

Russell Wilson has an active streak of 117 straight passing attempts without throwing an interception. That streak spans Wilson's last four games, as his last pass attempt at Clemson was picked off. That is the longest such streak for the Wolfpack without an interception since Philip Rivers went 126 attempts in 2003, and is the fifth-longest streak in school history dating back to 1970.

According to this week's Sagarin ratings, Virginia has played the second toughest schedule in the FBS.

The Cavaliers' opponents boast a 42-24 record (.636), tops among all ACC schools. Five of UVa's FBS opponents already are bowl eligible, while two more are one win shy. The Sagarin Strength of Schedule Ratings: 1. Washington (78.73); 2. Virginia (77.67); 3. Purdue (76.45); 4. Oregon State (76.32); 5. Duke (76.10).

Saturday's game marks the first time since 1971 that both the Deacons and the Blue Devils have met with each team having a winning record. Wake entered that 1971 contest with a record of 5-4 while Duke came in at 6-3. Wake Forest posted a 23-7 win over the Blue
Devils in Winston-Salem as three Demon Deacons each rushed for over 100 yards. Ken Garrett led the way with 131 yards while Larry Russell gained 112 yards and Larry Hopkins added 103 as the Deacons compiled 345 yards on the ground.

Over the past 10 seasons combined, Florida State and Georgia Tech have won more conference games than any teams in the league, Since 1999, Florida State is 57-19 in ACC games, while Georgia Tech is 46-31.

Miami RB James out two to four weeks

September, 10, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Miami running back Javarris James will be out two to four weeks with a high ankle sprain and should miss the Sept. 20 game at Texas A&M, coach Randy Shannon said on Wednesday's ACC teleconference. James has been walking in a soft cast and getting treatment this week after carrying the ball just twice in the Hurricanes 26-3 loss to Florida last Saturday.

Miami was held to 61 yards rushing last week (not that the Gators were much better with 89), and losing James, the second-leading rusher from a year ago, doesn't help.

"I think that was a big point in our game," Shannon said. "Javarris is what I call our big back that can pound and do some things like that. It was going good and then by him getting the ankle injury in the game, it didn't force us to do anything, but we played the other running backs and what happened was Florida did a good job of coming off blocks and diving and making a lot of good arm tackles and hitting the backs of legs and things like that. With Javarris, it might have been a little bit different. He might have kept his footing. This week we're going to work on that to make sure even though your guys aren't as big as Javarris, they've got to continue to [drive their legs] and things like that."

Shannon still has Graig Cooper, who led the team with 31 yards on 15 carries against Florida, and will expect more from Derron Thomas, Shawnbrey McNeal and Lee Chambers.

ACC weekend practice update

August, 16, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

RALEIGH, N.C. -- I'm still in Raleigh, but there are a few other things going on in the league worth checking in on. These scrimmage reports just came in:


  • One day after I wrote about Duke's running game taking a hit, the young running backs stood out in today's 80-snap scrimmage in Wallace Wade Stadium.
  • Jay Hollingsworth, Tony Jackson and Patrick Kurunwune combined to rush for 179 yards.
  • Jackson led with 71 yards on 13 carries while Kurunwune added 62 yards on 11 attempts. Hollingsworth picked up 46 yards on 13 rushes and added a one-yard touchdown run.
  • Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed six of 12 throws for 69 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown to Raphael Chestnut.
  • Sheldon Bell led all receivers with four catches for 23 yards while Jeremy Ringfield and Johnny Williams had two grabs for 38 and 37 yards, respectively.
  • Defensively, Trent Mackey, Eddie Morgan and Clifford Respress each posted one tackle for loss.
  • The kicking game included field goals by Nick Snyderwine (26 yards) and Joe Surgan (24 yards).


"We absolutely accomplished what we wanted," coach David Cutcliffe said. "We really limited our defense not knowing who is in the stands and we limited our offense some in the passing game. We more strictly limited our defense. It was good for us to find out some things when we are playing straight and how we hold up. I thought the effort was really good. I thought we were pretty crisp throwing and catching the ball. You can see a big difference. Both lines of scrimmage were physical with a lot of crisp hits. I think we got a lot out of this."


Again with the infusion of youth.

  • Three true freshmen scored touchdowns and two sophomore B-backs combined for 174 yards in the Yellow Jackets' 90-minute scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
  • True freshmen -- quarterback Tevin Washington, receiver Tyler Melton and safety Cooper Taylor -- combined for three of Georgia Tech's six touchdowns. Washington had a 53-yard TD run, Taylor returned a fumble 39 yards for a score and Melton made an impressive catch in the end zone on a 35-yard pass from another true freshman, quarterback Jaybo Shaw.
  • Shaw took most of the snaps with the first-unit offense as sophomorequarterback Josh Nesbitt remained sidelined with a shoulder injury.
  • Sophomore B-back Anthony Allen, a Louisville transfer not eligible until 2009, ran for a team-high 90 yards on seven carries including a 70-yard touchdown run.
  • Jonathan Dwyer, the sophomore expected to start at B-back, had seven carries for 84 yards including one 55-yard TD run.
  • Senior Calvin Booker was the leading passer on Saturday, completing 8 of 12 passes for 88 yards. Booker did throw the only interception of the day, a short pass picked off by redshirt freshman defensive end Jason Peters.
  • Peters and another redshirt freshman defender, Kyle Jackson, recorded Tech's two sacks. Jackson added one fumble recovery.


"We ran over 100 plays and we're at the point where I know what they can do," coach Paul Johnson said. "Now, we just have toget ready to play."

MIAMI (catching up from Friday)

The Hurricanes went almost 100 plays in their scrimmage on Friday night.

Sophomore running backs Shawnbrey McNeal and Damien Berry, along with redshirt freshman Lee Chambers, handled the bulk of the carries. McNeal scored the scrimmage's first touchdown on the offense's second drive of the night.


"We've got to find some depth at running back," coach Randy Shannon said. "We've got six guys. We can't get caught like last year when we ran out of running backs. The more work we get for those guys, the better off we'll be. If they do a great job picking up the offense, we'll be OK."